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Occupational Lung Disease

As we breathe, not only do we take in necessary oxygen and other elements, but we can also be exposed to noxious elements such as chemicals, allergens, and other harmful particles.

The workplace can become a major source of toxic exposure. A patient's history is crucial in determining if the disease is related to occupation, such as by seeing if symptoms worsen during the workweek and improve during the weekend. A careful review of the patient's history of exposures and symptoms along with pulmonary function testing, and even sampling the work environment can provide the diagnostic evidence for occupational lung disease. Simple methods such as improving workplace ventilation or use of a protective mask may alleviate the problem.